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IAU To Uwingu: You Can't Name That Martian Crater Either

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the chewbacca-already-named-them-on-mardi-gras dept.

Mars 125

RocketAcademy writes "The International Astronomical Union has thrown a tantrum over a plan to crowdsource names for craters on Mars. The IAU gives official scientific names to craters, but it has only bothered with craters that have 'scientific significance.' The science-funding platform Uwingu has launched a campaign to come up with popular names for the remaining craters. For as little as $5, a member of the public can name one of the craters on Uwingu's map, with the proceeds going to fund space science and education. This caused the IAU to issue a statement condemning such crowdsourcing efforts. The IAU pointed out that it did allow the public to vote on names for two of Pluto's moons, in the past. In that case, however, the IAU rejected the winning name (Vulcan)." Last year, the IAU got into a spat with Uwingu over naming exoplanets. Sounds like the old name a star scam, on Mars.

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There's a sucker born every minute (1)

Qwerpafw (315600) | about 5 months ago | (#46463437)

and someone to take their money willingly.

Re:There's a sucker born every minute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463549)

Great Article, RocketAkademy!

  Are you guys too scared to do one on the ILLEGAL ISRAELI WEAPONISATION of space?
I guess the masked israylee space-raiders are cleverly concealing their dubious activity, but the law of propellantability indicated that there must be a spaced-out equivalent of MORDECHAI VANUNU.

wolves concealed in fluffy sheepskin "research" coats (of arms, they say!)

on the moneypenny

I guess the Bulgarian space program no longer wants to pay for fuel in Drivna, who knows, maybe EURO-SHEKELS?

Re:There's a sucker born every minute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463709)

"of arms, of arms in space," there are rules against that......youtube /watch?v=wrwrR6DElRE

but then again, the Israeli government do not confirm nor deny that they have nuclear weapons and power since the `60`s ..... what is it now, 2014?

well then perhaps as early as 2064 AD , the Israelis will still be denying their violations, wonder if they will admit their nukes by then.

fuck beta, Akamai, AMDOCS, (hold the phones)..... armed Israeli space missions!

back to school.

Re:There's a sucker born every minute (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#46463929)

You'd be surprised how hard some institutions make it to give them money these days, though.

"Your money for our product? Not without an elaborate contract that serves no real purpose"

Re:There's a sucker born every minute (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 5 months ago | (#46464445)

The Quote of the Day below is currently:

When it is incorrect, it is, at least *authoritatively* incorrect. -- Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy

Re:There's a sucker born every minute (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 5 months ago | (#46464555)

and someone to take their money willingly.

True indeed... though it's kind of funny that all this ink and hot air is being wasted over "naming" rights.

Hell, if "naming" something were permanent and enforceable, we'd all still be living on Terra right now instead of Earth... and outside of SciFi novels, well, that ain't happening.

Tomorrow morning I could hereby re-name North America "Peanut Butter Sandwich", and if I could convince enough of my fellow inhabitants to do the same, we'd be living in USPBS. Instead, we live on a continent named by some obscure cartographer back in the 16th Century who was giving props to some dude who saw part of it and went home.

'course the real fun begins when you get more than one language involved. Just ask the Germans/Allegmainoise(sp?)/Deutschlaender/etc...

I already named a star for my GF (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463469)

That's way better than a crater.

Re:I already named a star for my GF (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 5 months ago | (#46463505)

We were talking about the stars in space, not on American Idol.

Re:I already named a star for my GF (3, Funny)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 5 months ago | (#46463993)

That's way better than a crater.

Yeah, but "Crater" is more descriptive of my relationships with women.

Award all naming rights to the first colonists (4, Funny)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 5 months ago | (#46463483)

You want the privilege of naming? No problem. But you have to get there first. Put up or shut up, bitch.

Re:Award all naming rights to the first colonists (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 5 months ago | (#46463597)

but I registered a crap domain name, and you can pay in bitcoins, so who says I don't have the internationally-recognised authority to name chunks of planets?!!!!!

Besides, how will I get my shitty website bought up by Amazon or Facebook and become a multi-billionaire if the grown-ups won't let me do this. Its just not fair.

Re:Award all naming rights to the first colonists (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 5 months ago | (#46463691)

You can go there, live there, call it what you want.... I will still rename it if I feel like calling it something else.

Screw them both. I name myself the authority of names, now I am going to make up words for people to use. Use them or don't, but neither you, nor the IAU can stop me.

Re:Award all naming rights to the first colonists (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#46463877)

true, but when you try to sell then, the international body in charge of there official names have every right to point out to the people that you sell them to they aren't recognized by anyone; which is all that's going on.

Re:Award all naming rights to the first colonists (4, Insightful)

rioki (1328185) | about 5 months ago | (#46464179)

So? Who gave the IAU the authority? What legal power do they have? I can create my own list of names for planetary bodies. If I get most people to use my list instead of the IAU's, what id going to happen? Nothing.

Btw, I am currently accepting bids for this solar systems' planets. Get them while they are cheap.

Re:Award all naming rights to the first colonists (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46464245)

They don't have any "legal power", they're just the group that writes the catalogues of astronomical objects, most of which are un-named. The only claim they have over this company is that they're the guys whose catalogues astronomers actually write and subsequently use.

Re:Award all naming rights to the first colonists (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 5 months ago | (#46464253)

You're selling the planet's names? That's a small inventory you have.

I am accepting bids for all the asteroids in orbit beyond the fourth planet. I'm still debating whether to charge based on mass, volume, or surface area.

Re:Award all naming rights to the first colonists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46466323)

The astronomers. And since the astronomers are the only ones that know how to take images of those craters, it doesn't really matter what non astronomers think.

Re:Award all naming rights to the first colonists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463893)

So, um, who decided to call the whole thing "Mars"? I guess by your logic we're also not allowed to name Venus, Saturn or the Sun because no one physically went there? Always glad to confirm that Space Nutters are foaming-at-the-mouth utterly insane and demented.

Re:Award all naming rights to the first colonists (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46464111)

Agreed. First person to touch the crater gets naming rights. I think we can all agree on that.

Re:Award all naming rights to the first colonists (2)

Brett Buck (811747) | about 5 months ago | (#46465315)

The IAU doesn't agree with that. They renamed many of the craters originally named on Apollo, for no other reason is that they are the IAU and couldn't stand that someone else was actually doing something, rather than talking about it.

Re:Award all naming rights to the first colonists (1)

Njovich (553857) | about 5 months ago | (#46464437)

Don't be silly, the Mayan gods that went there first have been dead for over a year.

Re:Award all naming rights to the first colonists (1)

Duncan.Torrigiani (3573065) | about 5 months ago | (#46464497)

Future generations will explore the Boo Boo crater :)))

Istanbul not Constantinople now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463499)

Names are such fickle things that will change with time. It's sad that people will fork out money for nothing but also that the IAU thinks that whatever names they are applying now are going to stick for eternity.

Conclusion: people like to argue

Re:Istanbul not Constantinople now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46465997)

the IAU thinks that whatever names they are applying now are going to stick for eternity.

Where do they say that?

Dancing on the head of a pin (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 5 months ago | (#46463501)

The rancorous debate over what to name celestial bodies strikes me of angelology. Who's going to know what they were named a thousand years from now, and how many times will those names be changed by people yet to be born? I mean, who cares? Let them each keep a different and divergent list of named craters, call them "List A" and "List B", and we'll revisit in 2,000 years and see which names stuck, and whom smelt of elderberries.

Re:Dancing on the head of a pin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463639)

Way ahead of you. I have my own list, everything is named after me. I'm working on a Firefox plugin to preface all nouns with the appropriate possessives, but I'm having a bit of work making it respond properly to the tangled mess of names people use.

Now, play nice on my Slashdot. and think of me when you look up at my moon and stars tonight.

Re:Dancing on the head of a pin (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 5 months ago | (#46465413)

Way ahead of you. I have my own list, everything is named after me. I'm working on a Firefox plugin to preface all nouns with the appropriate possessives, but I'm having a bit of work making it respond properly to the tangled mess of names people use.

Now, play nice on my Slashdot. and think of me when you look up at my moon and stars tonight.

Everything is named Anonymous?

Well, that is fitting...

Re:Dancing on the head of a pin (3, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 5 months ago | (#46463959)

Who's going to know what they were named a thousand years from now, and how many times will those names be changed by people yet to be born

Outside of America it's pretty common to live in places named thousands of years ago.

Re:Dancing on the head of a pin (3, Insightful)

hendrips (2722525) | about 5 months ago | (#46464211)

Even in the U.S. it is possible to find place names (nearly) that old. American Indian names that are still in use are not hard to find, although the pronunciation tends to be corrupted.

Re:Dancing on the head of a pin (1)

rioki (1328185) | about 5 months ago | (#46464249)

You mean a place like Tsaritsyn... um no Stalingrad... um no Volgograd... or Constantinople... um no Istanbul. Yes Names of places never change, ever.

Re:Dancing on the head of a pin (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 5 months ago | (#46464501)

He said "pretty common," not "always the case." Don't be dense.

Re:Dancing on the head of a pin (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 5 months ago | (#46464941)

You mean a place like Tsaritsyn... um no Stalingrad... um no Volgograd... or Constantinople... um no Istanbul. Yes Names of places never change, ever.

Welcome to trolling recognizing 101, today we will use the above statement as an example of a straw man argument.

Note that the original post didn't claim places _never_ changes names, just that "Outside of America it's pretty common to live in places named thousands of years ago.".

The statement in the original post is demonstrably true in a scientific way (verified by written texts and other ways) while the straw man above is, simply, irrelevant.

Re:Dancing on the head of a pin (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 5 months ago | (#46464947)

You honestly typed that response thinking it wouldn't make you look like an idiot? Wow. Yes, there are plenty of places in Europe which have had the same name for thousands of years, some with more corruption than others. Just because you can think of some examples of cities which have had their names changed you think that invalidates the claim? Did you drink bleach for breakfast?

Re:Dancing on the head of a pin (2)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 5 months ago | (#46465677)

or Constantinople... um no Istanbul.

Hey, that's nobody's business but the Turks...

Re:Dancing on the head of a pin (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 5 months ago | (#46464311)

Because America was an unpopulated wilderness 500 years ago?

Perhaps you meant something other than the OP said: New groups of people make new names for places that supersede what the previous occupants used.

Re:Dancing on the head of a pin (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46464119)

That's what's actually happening. Contrary to TFS the IAU's comments are little more than a reminder that Uwingu's list isn't going to be used by astronomers.

enough stars we can each have our own (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463525)

if we survive 'weather' forecast remains at hang on to our hemispheres status http://www.globalresearch.ca/weather-warfare-beware-the-us-military-s-experiments-with-climatic-warfare/7561 ,,aka swing low sweet chariots of fire & ice.... kids marching http://img.rt.com/files/news/23/08/00/00/1380713_keystone_web_480p.mp4?event=download

Let's democratize this (1)

afgun (634001) | about 5 months ago | (#46463551)

Call it whatever you want. If it sticks, it's official. Why should they get the only right to name something?

Re:Let's democratize this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463991)

So if enough people call you Four-Eyes or Dorkshit, it becomes official?

Re:Let's democratize this (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 5 months ago | (#46464329)

George, you are so insightful, why are you posting anonymously?

.
.
.
.
Note: I call all ACs George.

Re:Let's democratize this (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 5 months ago | (#46464981)

Sexist twat!

(;p)

Re:Let's democratize this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46465649)

Naw. he's just a dragon.

Re:Let's democratize this (3)

ravenscar (1662985) | about 5 months ago | (#46464087)

Exactly. The IAU might be able to create the name by which scientists refer to the craters (so that they have the same name in all languages). In real life, the craters will be called whatever people decide to call them popularly. It's like the bellis perennis. You might hear scientists refer to it that way. To the rest of the English speaking world it's a daisy.

Re:Let's democratize this (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46464285)

Unfortunately the objects Uwingu is offering names for are ones that will never be referred to popularly, and subsequently the naming rights people are paying for have no effect.

Re:Let's democratize this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46465735)

Nobody "popularly" refers to minor Martian craters or specific exoplanets. Scientists do. Non-scientists will refering to them when they've been visited - and since the first people to visit them will be doing so for the science, they'll use the scientists' names. Or they'll invent some shortened nickname. Either way, they're not going to use the name that someone paid $5 to "name" a few decades ago.

Established by convention (4, Insightful)

sinequonon (669533) | about 5 months ago | (#46463575)

The reason why the IAU is the body that gets to name celestial objects is international recognition. If every country used its own naming scheme, pretty soon the scientific communication would become a complete muddle.

Re:Established by convention (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#46464107)

Exactly. I have no idea who this Uwingu is, and don't fucking care. They have no international recognition that I'm aware of, and thus have no particular right to name anything.

If they're so keen on names, let them name their own underpants.

Re:Established by convention (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 months ago | (#46464429)

I don't particularly care about IAU's naming - but they are the legitimate authority here, if such a thing exists.

What's funny, though, is that the submitter bizarrely thinks everyone is somehow going to come down on the side of some website (?) no ones ever heard of. Apparently the term "crowd sourcing" is supposed to magically sway us?

Re:Established by convention (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 5 months ago | (#46464527)

The fact that the IAU both refuses to name the craters, and let anyone else do so, seems rather...selfish? Petty? These craters must remain nameless because they say so?

Re:Established by convention (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 5 months ago | (#46465017)

Not really - humanity needs a directory of things of interest. If we suddenly had names for millions of things of absolutely no interest to anyone other than the person who named them, that clearly blows the signal-to-noise ratio out of the water, rendering the entire endeavour pointless. There is no benefit to naming craters on Mars which lack interest, so the people who maintain the names of such things are quite obviously going to step in and say "no".

Re:Established by convention (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 5 months ago | (#46465075)

Select * From Craters
Where Craters.InstancesOfUseInAcademia > 0;

Boom.

Re:Established by convention (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46465303)

They can't "refuse to let anyone else do so", that's not how it works. All they can do is point out that these names aren't any more authoritative than any name you could give to the object yourself, or the nicknames NASA engineers give to craters, and as far as astronomers are concerned they're just catalogue numbers because everyone knows they're referring to the same thing.

I want my MTV (1)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 5 months ago | (#46463579)

If you don't want to select your crater yourself, just pick your price level and we'll have a Mars scientist choose a crater for you!

Money for nothing and craters for free

For as little as $5 (1)

gsslay (807818) | about 5 months ago | (#46463583)

I imagine that using buzzwords like "crowdsourced" means we're not supposed to spot that this is just a way of fleecing people of money for a totally worthless certificate.

Maybe the cause is good. But this method of fundraising is just sleazy.

Re:For as little as $5 (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#46463867)

Maybe the cause is good. But this method of parting fools from their money is just sleazy.

FTFY. "Fundraising" implies there's actually something legitimate to raise funds for, like beating cancer, or kids.

Re:For as little as $5 (1)

zaxus (105404) | about 5 months ago | (#46464071)

FTFY. "Fundraising" implies there's actually something legitimate to raise funds for, like beating cancer, or kids.

I didn't know beating kids was a worthwhile fundraiser....just saying....

Re:For as little as $5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46465513)

FTFY. "Fundraising" implies there's actually something legitimate to raise funds for, like beating cancer, or kids.

I didn't know beating kids was a worthwhile fundraiser....just saying....

Do we have to donate money, or can we volunteer time for this charity?

Re:For as little as $5 (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 5 months ago | (#46464081)

You didn't fix anything... it because it already said that in the prior sentence. You know what "fleece" means as a verb [thefreedictionary.com] , right?

IAU? (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | about 5 months ago | (#46463593)

Why do they get to decide, other than by authority by assertion?

Re:IAU? (2)

gsslay (807818) | about 5 months ago | (#46463695)

Well just like the star naming scam, no-one "gets to decide" and anyone can name anything they like.

I could rename the craters of Mars after my relatives if I wanted to. Yes, even the ones that already have names. No-one, however, is likely to pay my naming the slightest bit of attention, because I have neither authority nor importance. Just like UWingo.

The International Astronomical Union, on the otherhand, have a fair degree of recognition. Feel free to ignore them, but you'll find that most people concerned with Mars are happy for them to take the lead on naming.

Re:IAU? (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 5 months ago | (#46464395)

I've ignored them since the sleazy way they demoted Pluto from planetness. If they had done it properly I wouldn't be so rabid about it, but they had to manufacture the result.

Fuck them and the asteroid they rode in on.

Re:IAU? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46465325)

Hang on, you actually think that the IAC's decision to come up with a definition for "planet" was an elaborate excuse to make Pluto an un-planet? That's really, really precious.

Un-Planet? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46465929)

You have to admit, Pluto itself has been thumbing its nose at the IAC.....even before the "demotion", two more moons were discovered (Nix and Hydra), giving Pluto a total of three known moons. (Charon was the first moon discovered). http://www.windows2universe.org/our_solar_system/moons_table.html
This puts Pluto fourth in the solar system in moons -
Jupiter (63!)
Saturn (62)
Uranus (27)
Neptune (13)
Pluto (3)
Mars (2)
Earth (ONE)

Re:Un-Planet? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46466087)

Pluto now has 5 known moons. There are 7 small bodies that have 2 moons though too. So I guess rocks smaller than 10 km in size are good enough to be planets too.

Re:IAU? (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46463963)

It's their set of standards and references, that's why. If you want to have your own body of standards in astronomy, or chemistry, or whatever, there's nothing stopping you from making one up and trying to convince people to use it. Just don't expect anyone to actually pay attention to it.

Someone please... (1)

msauve (701917) | about 5 months ago | (#46463625)

buy the IAU some Wheaties which haven't been pissed in.

Seriously, the IAU is just a private organization with self-appointed powers. Their "official naming rights" are no more official than your's or mine, although their names are more likely to get used.

Re:Someone please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463731)

AMEN! The IAU has no sense of humor, or even opportunity. They could just say, "hey, ignore all those hucksters, pay us $20, and we'll officially name a star for you!"

Re:Someone please... (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#46463981)

Like anything official, it's official because it's recognized. In this case recognized by everyone in the scientific field, academia and governments.

Its like saying the Olympics aren't official becasue you can buy your own trophy.

This is a case of the IAU alerting potential victims that the name won't be recognized, and that UWingo should be telling people it will be.

As long as UWingo makes that clear, the IAU won't really care.

IAU has zero authority (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 5 months ago | (#46463667)

Where does the IAU get off with this insistence that it has the power to name everything in space, from craters to the smallest boulders. Pompous aholes.

Re:IAU has zero authority (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46464175)

They're astronomers. They get to decide what astronomers call things. You're welcome to call the moon John if you want, the IAU's not going to give a crap.

Re:IAU has zero authority (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46464183)

Perfect name for a crater.

Re:IAU has zero authority (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 5 months ago | (#46464573)

It would amuse me to no end watching scientists try to keep a straight face when they are forced to discuss e.g. a crater Titty-Titty Fuck-Fuck. (because you know that's going to happen eventually...this is the Internet we're talking about here)

Re:IAU has zero authority (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46464673)

From the same insistence that we think we can colonize the whole thing.

what am i bid for the planet willis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463669)

friendly familiar foreign & nearly just a stone's throw away cosmosically speaking. in fact it is just a thrown stone,, lifeless useless etc.... meanwhile there'll never be a better time to consider ourselves in relation to one another & our current accommodations... thanks again moms

Amazing (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 5 months ago | (#46463707)

It's amazing that the IAU seems to think that they have the rights to name anything at all. Frankly they have no authority other than it's another drummed up French based "authority" created when Europeans thought they could create such things. Yes, they ponder such things as the definition of a "planet" but still it's not CERN and is only recognized by scientists and astronomers as a de-facto authority, that's all. So really they have no claim to naming things no more than anybody else.

Re:Amazing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463753)

They can name things again once Pluto is recognized as a planet and not a dwarf planet, midget planet, size-challenged planet, leprechaun or whatever other silly thing they called it.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463835)

the IAU [...] is only recognized by scientists and astronomers as a de-facto authority, that's all

While Uwingu is recognised by no-one at all.

1-0 to the IAU, I think.

Re:Amazing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463863)

what is this, a blatant anti-EU statement? Isnt that ILLEGAL in France?
Beta watch out, the Northern Atlantean Treetease Organism (NATO) might come after you with the IMF in tow....
"De Facto", the Ukrainian mob-rule
"Drivna", tenderable currency for space-launch in Ukraine
"Euroshite", an English telly segment (needs youtube revival)

"Vichy", contained in the Italic French Finance Ministers name!

Whats your take on the "Israeli Nukes in Space" debate?

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46464017)

... dude, what the hell.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46464397)

sorry, it is the IMF with NATO in its pocket, or vice-versa?

"Euroshite" was intolerably amusing....

Re:Amazing (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about 5 months ago | (#46465249)

No he's saying what the he'll because your post was triple-distilled insanity. I'm not saying you're right or wrong we just have no idea what you're talking about.

I would work on more clearly communicating your ideas...so the message isn't lost.

Re:Amazing (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46464007)

Their authority comes from the fact that working astronomers respect and pay attention to its decisions (as well they might; the same working astronomers constitute its membership). That's the only kind of authority that matters, isn't it? Being a body that does things right often enough that people favour your standards? It works for the IUPAC and naming elements.

MOD PARENT UP! (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | about 5 months ago | (#46465545)

The french have a tradition of making themselves the official arbiters of things they don't actually do anything. See also FAI - Federation Aeronautique Internationale, the guys who required the Neil Armstrong to get an FAI Sporting License in order for them to recognize that the Moon Landings took place "officially"

Talk to the hand, Pluto-haters (1)

pla (258480) | about 5 months ago | (#46463805)

Of course Uwingu can name craters. So can you or I (though the challenge there lies in getting anyone else to use those names). The IAU has no more legal authority to say "you can't call the planet Pluto's newly discovered moon Vulcan", for example, than your local Kiwanis club does. They can only offer guidance that their "industry" tends to take seriously, and the rest of us can completely disregard if we so choose.

So whether or not a bunch of pissy astronomers decide to use Uwingu's names rather than something more poetic like "MC2013B17" has no relevance to the situation.

Re:Talk to the hand, Pluto-haters (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 months ago | (#46464021)

Uwingu is even more legitimate because the name you choose is registered in book form at the US Copyright Office.

Re:Talk to the hand, Pluto-haters (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46464139)

Presenting it as a life-or-death debate does, however, give Uwingu free publicity.

IAU = Dicks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46463829)

The IAU are dicks.

It's like when people discover comets, they're not allowed to name them after themselves anymore.

Because Comet IO/51049 is so much catchier than Comet Roseblade, right?

Re:IAU = Dicks (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46464079)

Confirmed comets are always named after their first two discoverers; the fact that they also have a catalogue designation for the books doesn't change that.

Why does this nonsense still come up? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46463847)

You can name whatever you like whatever you want. No muss, no fuss, no red tape, no nothing.

Achieving a name recognized by somebody other than you is a somewhat more complex problem, usually requiring a certain amount of give-and-take in terms of "I'll accept your stupid idea if you endure mine" type arrangements.

For all the histrionics about it, Nobody was somehow magically anointed the Super Name Czar by some magically authoritative process. Some organizations have their shit together, and any names in a given domain not endorsed by them are pretty much just private nicknames, some don't; but that's it.

Re:Why does this nonsense still come up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46465855)

Some organizations have their shit together, and any names in a given domain not endorsed by them are pretty much just private nicknames, some don't; but that's it.

For an illustration of this: I can sell you the right to name your IP address "www.google.com" for a hundred bucks. But I'm not recognised by ICANN, and no DNS server on the planet will route www.google.com to you, so it's just a private nickname. And if ICANN hears about me, they might warn everyone that I'm just a scammer.

Similarly, Uwingu can sell you the right to name a Martian crater. But they're not recognised by the IAU, and no astronomer on (or off) the planet will refer to it by that name, so it's just a private nickname. And since the IAU has heard about Uwingu, they're warning everyone that they're kind of a scam.

So what percent are they given to projects? (1)

will_die (586523) | about 5 months ago | (#46463897)

Anyone found anything indicating what percent they will be donating to a tax exempt space organization?
They say they want to get $10 million to that fund.
The cost of a hole in Mars goes for $5 to $5000. They also have another naming purchase plan for exoplanets where it is $4.99 for each person attempting to name it and then $0.99 for each vote for that name, and 1000 votes needed.

"Tantrum"? (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46463977)

Even by the dry standards of academic discourse this is pretty meek:

Recently initiatives that capitalise on the public’s interest in space and astronomy have proliferated, some putting a price tag on naming space objects and their features, such as Mars craters. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) would like to emphasise that such initiatives go against the spirit of free and equal access to space, as well as against internationally recognised standards. Hence no purchased names can ever be used on official maps and globes. The IAU encourages the public to become involved in the naming process of space objects and their features by following the officially recognised (and free) methods.

Re:"Tantrum"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46465703)

The public encourages the IAU to shut the fuck up, as we did not give them any rights, priveleges or control over anything, therefor they have no authority whatsoever.

It has a Certificate of Authenticity, right? (2)

Sand_Man (81150) | about 5 months ago | (#46463985)

Otherwise it is just a waste of money. Learned that the hard way ........

Obligatory XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46464123)

Here [xkcd.com]

I do not recognize IAU as an authority, period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46464651)

So I don't care what they say, they are a meaningless group of useless twats.

You know what I say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46464747)

Fuck the IAU, that is what I say.
They are worse than ICANN with respect to Internet dealings.

I think it is time we route around the problem of the IAU and start popularising and crowdfunding alternatives to their bullshittery and nonsense.
Nobody of any worth gives a damn about their old-fart opinions anyway.
What are they going to do like, SUE? They don't own the universe. You can't patent or trademark space. (you damn well better not be able to, looking at you America!)
Not only that, this is actually doing something of worth as well, it is FUNDING things.
The IAU say they like to promote and work with amateurs in the field, then they do this shit? NO, screw that.
I don't give a damn if there are 10k+ members, they are all worthless if they want to keep space their little secret club-group for them to all wank over. THEY are the reason people joke about the field and don't take it seriously.
Sure, there are some nice systems they came up with, but who cares when half the time it is tied up in such stupidly tight regulations?
I'm sure everyone would find it lovely if we were to refer to every single thing as their scientific names all the time. (especially grammar nazis. Holy crap, the thought of them all being grammar nazis. Also, enjoy these sentences.)

Why ISN'T there an official way to name things? Why are these pretentious douches not wanting to give memorable names to planets, stars and other such things? If there was an official way, it would PREVENT all of these varying names given, which is why the damn standards were created in the first place. Not only that, as I mentioned above, it would help fund science efforts, it would get more people interested directly with helping fund science and give great REAL gifts to people, not those phony promises and certificates that claim your acre of the moon or whatever else.
So, any of you that are likely reading this now, why not? Why are you all so anal about it?
Pretty much all other naming societies aren't as anal as you lot are. Do you see gene researchers whining over sonic hedgehog [wikipedia.org] ? Well, besides that small group STRETCHING to high-hell in being against it, missing the fact that Sonic Hedgehog is a HEDGEHOG related gene, not human. I don't think anyone would ever consider giving funny whimsical names to something that would cause serious illness.
Also who the hell would even come up to a patient and tell them that? They just want to know if their kid is good or bad, and if it is bad, they just want to know if there is a cure or treatment. If THEY ask for specifics, then you tell them.
Absolute lunacy.

Re:You know what I say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46465941)

I think it is time we route around the problem of the IAU and start popularising and crowdfunding alternatives to their bullshittery and nonsense.

Nothing is stopping you. Just like nothing is stopping someone getting pissy with your scheme, and a year later starting up their own scheme to ask people to pay money to rename things you named.

Uwingu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46465261)

As you may or may not be aware, "Uwingu" is loosely affiliated with the SETI Institute (not to be confused with SETI@home), who will be the first beneficiary of their income from this scheme. I've had the dubious pleasure of participating in the SETI Institutes "crowdsourcing" activities in the past, and although they seem like good engineers and scientists, they unfortunately have either very low ethics or some sort of major deficiency in sense of self and others. If you look at setilive.org, for instance, they launched this site to huge media fanfare, with tens of thousands of people signing up for what was publicized as "citizen science". Unfortunately, as people slowly realized after having clicked through millions of images of radio noise, the project has essentially no scientific value, and was more likely just some sad attempt at attracting paying members to the institute's financial support group "TeamSETI". Today the "crowdsourcing project" has barely one active user on at any given time.

This Uwingu thing oozes of that same kind of disregard and carelessness with other people's resources: let's "u-wing-it" and see if we can get the dumb people on the interwebs to throw some money at us, and if all they get out of it is some phony certificate with no validity, who cares, at least we got some money out of it, right?

Less about naming, more about interest in funding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46465483)

This whole website seems much less about officially naming planetary bodies/object & more about trying to get the public interested in donating to scientific research. As long as the funds are going towards that end and no guarantee of being an "officially recognized" name is being presented I don't see an issue. And if you actually check out some of the names used (Peoples names, DeeDah, Winnie Wonka's Cholote Factory, Stella's scientific saucer dent) you'd have to be an idiot to think these names were ever going to be officially recognized by a government body. The IAU's designations don't hold a lot of clout with me either, they are a politically driven organization that are just a little full of themselves.

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